Aizawl face Mohun Bagan in I-League opening match

Two former champions, Aizawl Football Club and Mohun Bagan will square off in the opening match of the 13th edition of the I-League, which has been reduced to a second tier domestic competition.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and some of the clubs were locked in a bitter face-off on which out of Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League will the top-tier competition in the country.

After a lot of acrimony, the issue was finally settled with the help of the Asian Football Confederation, with the ISL being made the top-tier league with a slot in the AFC Champions League play-off, while I-League champions would compete in the second tier AFC Cup.

As a concession to the clubs, starting with the 2022-23 season, the winner of I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to ISL. From the 2024-25 season onwards, performance-based promotion and relegation to and from ISL will be implemented.

A total of 110 games are scheduled to be played in over five-month long league in home-and-away basis among the 11 participating clubs. The AIFF has said that all the 110 matches will be telecast live on DSPORT.